A massive standoff between hundreds of armed protestors and federal agents over the long-disputed grazing rights of a Nevada rancher ended peacefully Saturday after law enforcement retreated from their positions.
Cliven Bundy, a 68-year-old rancher, along with hundreds who supported his stand against the Bureau of Land Management’s confiscation of his “trespass cattle,” held their ground against federal agents. After protesting for over a week, Bundy and the protestors finally won out. The BLM agents backed down and returned 300 cattle back to Bundy, Newsweek reports.
Guns.com previously reported that Bundy and his ancestors have raised cattle on BLM land since 1887. He currently has nearly 900 cattle roaming over a 600,000-acre area in Bunkerville, but after a 21-year-long legal battle between Bundy and the National Park Service over his right to graze his cattle on the BLM land, the government finally upped the ante.
On April 5 armed agents, helicopters and contract cowboys were dispatched to impound Bundy’s “trespass cattle.” But Bundy and his supporters, many of who were armed, refused to surrender and after standing their ground for over a week, the BLM agents retreated.
BLM Director Neil Kornze issued a statement explaining why he decided to finally withdraw his agents.
“Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” Kornze said.
One of Bundy’s sisters, Margaret Houston, said the retreat of federal agents was the outcome she had been praying for.
This is what I prayed for,” said Houston. ‘”We are so proud of the American people for being here with us and standing with us.”
At least for now, Bundy will be permitted to resume his grazing on the BLM land. One of Bundy’s sons, Ammon Bundy, said of the days-long standoff, “We won the battle.”